Top 10 social media metrics that matter most (free webinar) 0

Posted on February 01, 2016 by Rob Petersen


10 social media metrics

  • 92% of marketers say social media is important to their business (Social Media Examiner)
  • 73% plan to increase spending on marketing analytics (The CMO Survey)
  • Only 42% are able to measure their social activities (Social Media Examiner)

If social media is so important, why are most marketers unable to measure it? Do they not know the social media metrics that matter most?

Register for a Free Webinar on Tuesday, February 9th, at 11:00 am EST to learn and ask questions about the 10 Social Media Metrics Every Marketer Needs to Know. This webinar is brought to you by Biznology.

So you know now, here are the 10 social media metrics that matter most.

  1. KEYWORDS: Smart keywords choices and placement on social networks give your brand a better chance of being found. Consumers that are exposed to a brand on social media are 180% more likely to search for that brand on search engines according to a Group M study. Google Trends and the Google Keyword Planner are two tools to use; the former identifies keywords that people are searching with increasing search interest and the latter provides their monthly keyword volume.
  2. LINKS: Social media links from blog posts and social posts are another primary means of raising social and search presence. These come from blog posts and social posts. Track the number of links pointing to your website and/or blog, and examine the source of new links. Open Site Explorer from SEOmoz and are great inbound tracking services. They are also free if that’s any additional motivation.
  3. REACH: Reach is the potential audience for a message based on total follower count (Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn followers, total Likes on your Facebook page). If your boards have 1,000 followers on Pinterest, then each of your pins could potentially reach 1,000 people. Facebook considers a post reaches someone when it’s shown in that person’s News Feed. Through Facebook Insights, Facebook provides “total reach,” which includes the number of unique people who saw any activity from a Page as well as paid vs. organic reach.
  4. ENGAGEMENT: Actions such as Like, Share, Comment, ReTweet and Favorite measures how much and how often others interact with you and your content in social media. Radian6 and SimplyMeasured are tools that show the percentage of people reached who engage in your content, how they respond and the differences by social network.
  5. SHARE OF VOICE: Reach and Engagement are important to know not only about your brand but your competitors. Quite often, a smaller brand with a lower level of Reach can distinguish itself by displaying a higher level of Engagement to the benefit of their business.
  6. SENTIMENT: A “Sentiment Analysis” tells you if the people who comments are saying positive, negative or neutral things. It’s done by computer for each social network and expressed as a ratio of positive/negative. A “Sentiment Analysis” provides direction for your communications strategy. Social-Searcher has excellent social analytics, including “Sentiment Analysis,” anyone can use.
  7. WEBSITE VISITS: According to Shareaholic, Facebook now drives 23% of referral traffic to a website. It’s important to know just how much traffic is coming to a website from people who have gotten to know you on social networks. This is easy to see from Google Analytics, perhaps the best social media measurement tool of them all. Use Google Analytics to measure the remaining top metrics (11-14) on this list.
  8. TRAFFIC SOURCES: The percent of people who come to your website from social networks can be easily found in Google Analytics. People like to business with people they know. Traffic Sources are a primary indicator if social media efforts are succeeding in sending people to your website.
  9. BOUNCE RATE: The percent of people who get to your website, view one page and leave is the Bounce Rate. It’s considered one of the best metrics to gauge a website’s relevance. It’s a key metric to know in general and to compare to the Bounce Rate of those who come from social networks.
  10. CONVERSIONS: The metric that has the highest business value and relates most directly to return on investment (ROI) is Conversions. This is defined as the desired outcome (buy, download, view, subscribe) divided by Visits. Because Conversions are so important, there may be more than one. The one that is closest to direct revenue is the Macro Conversion; others that lead Macro Conversion are called Micro Conversion. Together, they define buying behaviors for your brand.

Do these social media metrics help you to see how social media can build your business? Will you be attending this Free Webinar on 10 Social Media Metrics Every Marketer should know on Tuesday, February 9th, at 11:00 am EST?

16 social media metrics for ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to watch 3

Posted on August 31, 2014 by Rob Petersen

The ALS Association (ALSA) — which fights Lou Gehrig’s disease by funding research, supporting people with the condition and fostering government partnerships — this weekend has now collected over $100 million dollars from a viral social media campaign. Over the same period last year, they collected $2.6 million.

A viral social media campaign is a buzzword that refers to a tremendous increase in brand awareness from word of mouth enabled by social networks and the internet.

The Ice Bucket Challenge has its fans and critics. But there’s no denying, for a very worthwhile organization, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has generated tremendous awareness and financial success. It is likely to go down in history as one of the most successful viral social media campaigns, ever; and to serve as a model for other non-profits and profit organizations who will attempt to duplicate this level of success for their causes.

Without question, donations and time to results are key metrics to be included as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). But social media has played a key role. What metrics do we use to make the connection How do we create an actionable scorecard?

Here are 16 social media metrics for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to watch.

  1. KEYWORD TRENDS: The chart at the top is from Google Trends. It is an index that measures increases and decreases in keyword search volumes. In this case, “ALS” and the “Ice Bucket Challenge” were plotted. As you can see, increases in “Ice Bucket Challenge” have had a direct affect on interest in the “ALS.”
  2. KEYWORD SEARCH VOLUME: The average monthly keyword search volume for ALS is now 550,000 according the Google Adwords Keyword Planner. Ice Bucket Challenge is 2900 showing how awareness has been transferred..
  3. WEBSITE RANK: The organization’s website,, is now ranked as the 648 most viewed website in the US and 4.192 in the world (an improvement in rank of 168,792 within 3 months) according to Alexa. For perspective, the #1 website is Google; #2 is Facebook and #3 is YouTube. This is quite an accomplishment proving the campaign has driven people from social media to the website where they can donate.
  4. WEBSITE LINKS: There are now 3,248 other sites linking and driving web traffic to Among the biggest are YouTube, Yahoo, Wikipedia and Reddit.
  5. WEBSITE ANALYTICS: Although only the ALSA has access to the Google Analytics of their website, Unitque Visitors, Traffics Sources. particularly the social networks, and Key Content (Web Pages) would be primary measurements. Website Analytics are often overlooked as social media metrics when they are often the most valuable.
  6. CONVERSION RATE: Of course, the Donate page would be a key web page from which to track the Conversion Rate about visitors and people who donated. The Conversion Rate should be monitored weekly and measured against the Conversion Rate a year ago.
  7. VIDEOS: Since videos are central to this campaign, YouTube is the first social network to examine. There are 6,000,000 videos of the ALS Ice Bucket Challengea now posted on YouTube.
  8. MOST VIEWED VIDEOS: Among some of the most viewed videos and their numbers are Bill Gates (18,465,237), Simpsons (11,567,782) and a compilation of the Failed Attempts (17,903,561).
  9. VIDEO SUBSCRIBERS: On YouTube, there are two channels dedicated to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge; one was created by Zoomin and has 34,832 subscribers; the official ALSA channel has only 1,962 subscribers.
  10. YOUTUBE ANALYTICS: ALSA could know from looking at their YouTube Analytics where geographically viewers came from, how long they watched and what type of device (desktop or mobile) they viewed the video.
  11. SENTIMENT ANALYSIS: Since there are fans and critics of the effort, sentiment analysis plays a key role in the evaluation of any viral marketing campaign. According to Social Searcher, the ratio of positive to negative comments has been 3:1 overall. But it differs widely by social network. Facebook is 7:3; Twitter is 2:3 (more negative than positive) and Google+ is 9:1. Another social search engine, Topsy, which is predominantly influenced by Twitter reports a positive to negative ratio of 27% to 73%. This indicated targeted resources are required to manage conversations from a viral social media campaign.
  12. LIKES: The ALS Association Facebook page has 319,000 Likes. It was growing at a triple digit weekly rate. However, after just a few weeks, the rate has slowed and is now beginning to decline. This provides learning on what should be expected as the life cycle of viral social media campaigns.
  13. PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT THIS: Facebook also has a measure called “People Talking About This.” It is an algorithm of people who Like, Comment or Share conversations that are occurring on a particular Facebook page. For the ALS Association, there are over 470,000 People Talking About This for the ALS Association – more than Like the organization. This is rare. According to WOMMA, a normative rate rate of People Talking About This to Likes is 1%. This shows the virility of the campaign.
  14. HASHTAGS: There are numerous hashtags on the Ice Bucket Challenge – such as #ALSIceBucketChallenge, #IceBucketChallenge and #StrikeOutALS. All of which can be measured for Likes, Shares and Comments to show the level of sentiment and engagement for this event.
  15. TWEET VOLUME: Within the past 30 days, according to Topsy, there have been 8.7 million Tweets for the Ice Bucket Challenge. In the past 7 days, the number is 2.4 million Tweets. But, it looks like it’starting to fall. It’s now 160,,000 per day (1.2 million weekly rate) to 6,000 in the last hour (1.0 million weekly rate).
  16. KEY INFLUENCERS: Participants been a key to the success of this campaign. From politicians (George Bush, Barak Obama), business leaders (Mark Zuckerberg) to celebrities (Matt Damon, Charlie Sheen), many people of influence have given their implied endorsement by taking the Ice Bucket challenge. The quantity and quality of these participants are a key metric.

Rutgers Business School Executive Educative, where I teach, has a Social Media Marketing Mini-MBA for Non-Profits. Donna Dourney York, was a participant in the program. Donna has made amazing progress changing the way people perceive ALS.

Do you think these are social media metrics the ALS Association should watch? Did this help you understand how to use metrics to guide success for viral social media campaigns?

21 reasons social media metrics are a waste of time 0

Posted on October 20, 2013 by Rob Petersen




Why is it so important to brands to: “Like Us on Facebook”?

Is it building relationships that lead to sales? Or is it a way to proclaim: We’re in social media; we have a Facebook page?

Ivory Madison in the Harvard Business Review, and Eric Ries, in his book, The Lean Startup, says social media metrics such as: Like, Follow Us and Re-Tweet are, by themselves, “vanity metrics.”

Is it a waste of time to measure them? Or do they offer insights into business growth? Is it even possible to know if tweeting a link leads to revenue?

Here’s a guide to tell you what to consider and how to spend your time. Or 25 reasons to know if you’re wasting time with social media metrics.


  • Do you have business goals for your social media activities?
  • How long do you expect it’s going to take until you achieve the results you want?
  • Do you take into account the time and resources required to reach your goals?


  • What are the business actions (sales, subscriptions, registrations,, leads or downloads) that matter most?
  • Are your Likes, Followers, Views, etc. tied to these actions that lead to revenue?
  • Do you measure conversion from these actions?


  • Do you know the real customer prospects among your Likes, Followers and Connections?
  • Do you know which social networks are most likely to be your customers?
  • Do you know the quality of your Likes, Followers and Connections?
  • Are there advocates among the people who Like and Follow you or Share your content?
  • Do you know which social networks share your content most often?
  • Are there traceable patterns where the actions of your existing customers create new customers.
  • Are the relationships impacting the sales actions that matter most?


  • Do increases in Likes, Followers, Connections, Views, Comments and Shares translate to increased visits to your website?
  • Do they visit the pages you most want them to visits?
  • Do the social network generating the most traffic in your Google Analytics translate to where you are spending your time?


  • Are your making connections (e.g. Like, Followers, Subcribers)  faster or slower than your competition?
  • Are “people talking about” your brand as measured by Comments, Likes, Re-Tweets, Shares and Views more or less than your competitors
  • Are you seeing an increase in search rank from your social activities?


  • Do you take actions from the results of your social media metrics?
  • Do you review Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) on a regular basis?
  • Has your business grown for the review and actions you take from social media metrics?

Social media metrics don’t have to be vanity metrics. Combined with the metrics that are most important with your business, they can provide insights into relationship that build revenue and build real value.

In our case studies, we’ve seen  brands grow and money saved. While every business is different, there is a KPI scorecard that can developed for specific characteristics.

Did these reasons help guide you on how you should be spending your time? Are you ready to stop wasting time with social media metrics?








10 social media measurements every marketer should know 4

Posted on October 20, 2012 by Rob Petersen




Peter Drucker

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it,” said Peter Drucker.

Social media measurement tools are one of the fastest growing areas of analytics and venture funding. But, among businesses that purchase them, only 34% are “happy;” 60% say they are merely “okay” and 6% are so frustrated they are ready to switch (source: KISSmetrics).

Do we need to know lots of measurements, or just manage the ones that matter?

Here are 10 social media measurements every marketer should know.

1. VISITORS FROM SOCIAL MEDIA (GOOGLE ANALYTICS): It may surprise you but, to me, Google Analytics is the most effective social media measurement tool available. Why? Because, if your social media efforts are effective, people are going to come to your brand website. Google Analytics tells you who, how, where, when and why. In the Google Analytics dashboard, “Traffic Sources” tell you, through a pie-chart like the one below, not only how people come to your website but from where – whether it’s from “Search” (organic and paid), “Referral” (social media and e-marketing) or “Direct.”

Google Analytics - Traffic Sources2. VISITORS BY SOCIAL NETWORK (GOOGLE ANALYTICS): “Referrals,” in the “Traffic Sources” section of Google Analytics list the traffic from social networks – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. – in order.  They also show, by social network, how much time is spent, pages viewed, bounce rate and other measures. This is valuable because now you know the social networks that drive the most visitors for your brand and how to manage your time.

3. KEYWORDS (GOOGLE ANALYTICS): In the “Overview” section of “Traffic Sources,” there are the “Keywords” that people use who come to your website. This gives you guidance on their unmet needs and words to use in posts, tweet and blog titles so you know how to attract your audience.

4. “LIKES” AND COMPETITORS’ “LIKES” (FACEBOOK): We all want our brand to be loved  “Likes” on Facebook are as close as it gets in social media and is a good metric to track. WOMMA estimates the value of a “Like” to be worth $71.84 to a brand. So it’s worth it not only to  keep track of the “Likes” for your brand but also the “Likes” for your competitors. If you want to know how to increase “Likes,” here’s what Excel Target says motivates people to “Like” your brand.

What Motivates A "Like" on Facebook

5. PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT (FACEBOOK INSIGHTS): Engagement is a key reason to use social media. “People Talking About,” available through Facebook Insights, is one of the best measurements of engagement. It is the number of unique people who have either “Liked,” commented, shared or mentioned your brand on Facebook. If “Likes” and “People Talking About” are increasing, your brand is creating a positive buzz.

6. FOLLOWERS AND COMPETITORS FOLLOWERS (TWITTER): These are people who take an interest in your brand. It is worth tracking for both your brand and your competitors. Followers also are a good metric if your brand is active on Pinterest.

7. RE-TWEETS (TWITTER): Like “People Talking About” measures engagement and involvement on Facebook, Re-Tweets (RT) work similarly on Twitter. They are the metric that measure the quality, rather than the quantity, of your Tweets. If your brand in active on Pinterest, Re-pins are an equivalent measure.

8. COMMENTS AND PINGBACKS (BLOG): If your brand has a blog,  the number of comments and “pingbacks” should be tracked and measured. The latter are “links” from other blogs who have passed along your content to their readers. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

9. VIEWS (YOUTUBE): If your brand is on YouTube, views are valuable currency. Views are turbo-chargers to your search rank, especially since YouTube is the #2 search engine. If you ever want your social media activity to go viral, case studies indicate it is more likely to happen on YouTube than any other social network.

10. AUDIENCE RETENTION – “DROP OFF” (YOUTUBE ANALYTICS): YouTube analytics are some of the most sophisticated software on the internet. Many that’s because YouTube is owned by Google. One that is particularly valuable is “drop off” or when people stop watching your video. If you put video on YouTube and aren’t paying attention to this metric, the only one that’s suffers is your brand.

Other social media metrics like your Klout Score, Kred Score, Topsy, Booshaka (for Facebook Advocates), Technorati (for blog “Authority Score”) and Twitter Search (for geo-targeting) could certainly have value for your brand  depending on objectives and business goals.

But these are my Top-10 because they tell you: 1) why social media is important to your business, 2) what social networks matter most and 3) how your brand is doing at driving engagement.

Do you agree? What else would you include?


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